Robert L. Gessford, 83

Robert L. Gessford

CHESTER, W.Va. – Robert L. Gessford, 83, of Chester, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at his home.

Born in Bridgewater, Pa., April 28, 1935, he was a son of the late LeRoy and Florence Rhodes Gessford. A resident of this area most of his life, he was a member of the East Liverpool High School Class of 1953 where he was a member of the wrestling team and was a manager for the football team. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he served his country on two occasions, first in Korea and then during the Berlin Crisis. He attended the Christian Assembly Church in Industry, Pa.

In 1962, Bob began his career in banking with the former First National Bank in East Liverpool. He later started the First National Bank of Chester where he served as president until his retirement.

He was also active in his community and loved its people. He was a friendly face around town and started every day with the Big Breakfast at McDonald’s. He was a fixture on his front porch where he loved to say ‘hello’ to friends as they passed by.

His wife, Joann Ruehl Gessford, survives at home. The couple married Oct. 5, 1960. Together, they raised three daughters: Robin Morelli and her husband, Clyde, of Wheeling, Lee Ann Wittich and her husband, Scott, of Cincinnati, and Tracy Monaco and her husband, Vito, of Chester. He will be sadly missed by his five grandchildren: Alyssa, Lindsay, Elle, Kaelin and Hallie as well as one great-grandson, Luke. He also leaves his constant canine companion Molly.

In addition, Bob is survived by a sister, Nancy Winters of East Liverpool, and two brothers, James Gessford and his wife, Fern, of Florida, and Kenneth Gessford and his wife, Vicki, of Tennessee.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson Dante Vito Monaco.

Friends may visit Friday afternoon and evening at the Dawson Funeral Home where the family will be present from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Rev. William Anzevino will conduct a funeral service Saturday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Military honors will be conducted.

Following the service, friends and family will gather at the Dawson Family Center for fellowship.

Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery.

View Bob’s memorial webpage and express condolences online at